Assistant Professor, PBSPED Field Placement Coordinator
"Teaching is the highest form of learning. The learning process is never one-sided; as educators we learn just as much (if not more) from our students as they do from us."
- PhD, Education: Exceptionalities
How did you become interested in the field of special education?
I had the opportunity to privately tutor two English Learners that moved to Hawaii from Vietnam. They were both brilliant and eager to learn! Their teachers felt that they needed special education services, mainly due to their challenges with acquiring English. I learned quickly about the overrepresentation of English Learners in special education and wanted to be a part of curbing that overrepresentation. This experience led me into the field of special education where I advocated for students of all abilities. I have learned so much from the unique gifts that my former students brought to the table!
What is your philosophy of teaching?
Teaching is the highest form of learning. The learning process is never one-sided; as educators we learn just as much (if not more) from our students as they do from us.
What types of candidates do you hope/recommend to pursue becoming a special education teacher?
Anyone who wants to make a difference in the lives of our children and has unconditional love to give. The field of special education is a truly rewarding profession that can touch many lives.
How does the Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Special Education best support and prepare its students?
The opportunity to actively apply what is learned in the coursework with diverse students at our local schools in their field and student teaching experiences.
What words of advice would you give to people looking to pursue the program/profession?
Always be open to other perspectives and learning. Challenges can bring forth wonderful learning opportunities and solutions. Spend 10% on the problem and 90% on the solution. Wake up everyday with the mindset that you are going to be amazing!
What are your research interests?
Special Education teacher development and instructional strategies for English Learners
What are your goals or future plans?
To help develop our special education teachers of the world.
What do you like to do outside of education?
Spending time with my family, writing, and playing soccer.